An Open Letter To 2016

Dear 2016, 

This past year was filled with invisible brawls, long walks pondering about what I should do next and a ton of time spent in front of the white screen.

I did have some good times too. I managed to write about 240,000 words this year. In doing so, I learned so much about creativity, energy management, behavior design and habit formation. Our trip to East Nashville was great as well. 

But I can't figure out if I'm excited to meet you or not. 

My whole life, it feels like, I've been trying to chase a finish line that doesn't exist. It's like I'm continually looking for completion. So in the anticipation of your arrival, I tread carefully. 


Because in the past, each New Year I've vowed for more. More fitness. More goals. More accolades. More money. More everything. 

I'm not discounting ambition. But I am questioning if the default decision to strive for more every year is worth considering anymore. 

You have a certain way of making people feel like they need to set more goals, strive for more achievement, and stack on more responsibility. 

But I'm refusing to do that this year. 

Instead of more, I want to go deep. 

And in order to go deep, I have to have less in my life. 

I have everything I need. But I know you'll come along and try to convince me otherwise. 

You're a distraction - like an unbidden guest. 

I've gone along with the game of pursuing more far too long. I can't come along for the ride this time around. 

My relationship with you is going to be grounded in simplicity. My vow this year is less - less clothes, less gadgets, less shoes, less junk. Less of everything that I don't need. 

This resolution of less will help me focus on substantive things like my faith, my marriage, my health, my relationships, my writing, my reading. 

I'm not doing this because we can't afford more stuff, I'm doing this to prove that I don't need more goals or more stuff to experience joy. 

Your predecessors have also swindled me into thinking that this time of year is an opportunity to control the future. I used to call this goal setting, but it's really just trying to predict the future. And shockingly, I haven't been successful at it.

Therefore, instead of setting goals that I really don't have any control over, I'm setting direction and establishing behaviors. 

I'm not going to let you cloud my vision by thinking that if I set a goal, the future will play out as such. I'm done with that. 

You're approaching quickly, and everyone is aware of you. The last week of the year feels like a long holiday. The anticipation gets thicker as the 31st draws near. Hopes and visions of what you bring are forging as I type this.

It's as if the calendar has some magical ability to change the trajectory of ones life.

This is your glory moment 2016.

And you'll definitely flex your muscles as thousands, maybe millions of people pile on more into their lives when the ball drops at midnight. 

Not me. Not this time. 

I know pursuing simplicity will be a dog fight 2016, but it's a battle I'm willing to enter. 

See you in the ring.